Over the weekend I asked our readers to benchmark their 3G network using an Android phone and the response was great. After reviewing the results, it looks like T-Mobile 3G tops out around 1.0 Mbps on Android phones. This got me thinking because we reported several weeks ago that T-Mobile had announced it would be upgrading their network in 2010 to HSPA+ which goes up to 21 Mbps.
The one thing I keep overlooking is the fact that T-Mobile already told us they would support the HSPA 7.2 Mbps standard this year. At the recent Mobilize09 event, T-Mobile CTO Cole Brodmand said, “The technology we have deployed is latest generation. We are just rolling out the next phase this year. We will be upgrading to HSPA 7.2 by the end of the year“
From what I can tell, most of the 3G vendor equipment that was deployed in new markets will support HSPA 7.2 with a simple firmware upgrade. The G1 and myTouch 3G both support the same HSPA 7.2 standard, so many Android users will get a significant speed boost in the next several months.
We contacted T-Mobile USA to confirm this and they responded with the following:
In response to your questions about T-Mobile’s recently launched HSPA 7.2 network, please note that the HSPA family of technology is backward compatible, so, the recently announced network paths of HSPA 7.2 and HSPA+ will support the 3G devices in the hands of our customers today. Customers using 3G phones, including the myTouch 3G, will benefit from faster data speeds on T-Mobile’s enhanced 3G networks.
We believe the current T-Mobile 3G network is capped at 1.8 Mbps, so the jump to 7.2 Mbps is a 400% increase. With such a jump in speed, I also asked if there would be any additional data plans required.
Regarding your question about a new data plan requirement, please note that as a standard business practice T-Mobile does not comment on future business strategies.
Based on previous test results, I doubt we would get anywhere near 7.2 Mbps on our phone but I still expect it will be noticeably faster. I would be over joyed if we could get 2+ Mbps like our Android readers in Canada and overseas so any kind of boost is welcome.